Flavia lives in ancient Rome, and she is thriving in her world. One day when she is running from the neighborhood dogs, she befriends a boy named Jonathan who is asthmatic. Soon after, she sees a girl her age that is being sold as a slave, and after her father buys the girl she befriends her and realizes that the girl does not speak any Latin besides the words she needs to know to serve her master. Then the three meet an orphaned boy who cannot speak named Lupus, and they befriend him as well. When Jonathan’s dog is killed along with other neighborhood dogs, the four kids want to solve the crime and stop more of the dogs from being murdered.
This was a creative historical fiction mystery novel. It kind of reminds me of an “A-Z mysteries” that takes place in Ancient Rome, but it is still a lot more detailed and is definitely for older readers as the dogs’ murders are a tad graphic. Flavia has a lot of spunk, and is a resourceful young lady as she leads her and her friends into solving the mystery. I felt a connection to all of the kids although they were all 10 years of age and younger, and each of them had their own personality past the physical and language barriers. Although everything might not be historically accurate, it was still a very entertaining story and I would definitely recommend it for middle grade readers.
Overall Rating: 5/5